IPS: Simmons earns pole at Pikes Peak

After competing in two IndyCar Series events, Jeff Simmons returned to the Menards Infiniti Pro Series events and promptly put his Kenn Hardley Racing No. 24 on the pole with a speed of 154.574 mph. Second fastest after two practice sessions, ...

After competing in two IndyCar Series events, Jeff Simmons returned to the Menards Infiniti Pro Series events and promptly put his Kenn Hardley Racing No. 24 on the pole with a speed of 154.574 mph. Second fastest after two practice sessions, Simmons managed to find extra speed in qualifying, turning his best lap of the day. ^ÓI knew it was going to be close with Thiago,^Ô said Simmons. ^ÓThey^Òve got a great team over there and they^Òve been fast everywhere. We^Òve got to try to get a good race setup on the car and have a long race tomorrow.^Ô

Simmons competed in the Infiniti Pro Series in 2003, finishing second in the championship. He competed in the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May before securing an Indianapolis 500 ride with Mo Nunn Racing. Simmons also competed in the IndyCar Series with Patrick Racing at Kansas Speedway in July.

Thiago Medeiros set the fastest lap of the weekend (154.625 mph) during the second practice session but could not back it up in qualifying and will start on the outside of the front row. ^ÓIt was okay,^Ô said Medeiros, when asked about his qualifying run. ^ÓI^Òm happy starting on the front row.^Ô

Paul Dana, who continues to chase Medeiros in the hunt for the championship, will start third. ^ÓI think everyone struggled in the last practice session. We did too,^Ô Dana said. In qualifying, ^Ówe were in fifth (gear) just banging off the rev-limiter, leaving time on the table. We screwed up. If we would have been in sixth gear, I don^Òt know if we could have caught Simmons but we easily left a tenth (of a second) on the table, which would have put us on the front row. Ifs and buts don^Òt win races so we^Òll try to get it done tomorrow.^Ô

Jesse Mason will start fourth, followed by P. J. Chesson. Chesson is on a roll, having won the last two Infiniti Pro Series events at Michigan and Kentucky. The 25-year-old Far Hills, NJ driver won on the high banks of Michigan in his fourth start in the series.

Chesson, who raced with his brother Jamie on the 410 sprint car circuit in central Pennsylvania, will compete against his younger brother in September when Jamie joins Mo Nunn Racing for the Chicagoland Infiniti Pro Series event.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Jeff Simmons , Paul Dana , Jesse Mason , Mo Nunn , Thiago Medeiros